DSCC - Republican Votes for Weakened Stimulus Bill Only After Blocking Key Provisions

Republican Senator John Sununu’s deciding vote against a bipartisan economic stimulus bill yesterday will prevent 1,858 Granite Staters from receiving unemployment insurance benefits in the next six months and will block $27.3 million in assistance for families with high energy bills in the state. After Sununu and other Republicans blocked the economic stimulus bill containing those provisions yesterday, the Senate was forced to pass a weakened version of the bill today without crucial funding for the LIHEAP energy assistance program and extended unemployment insurance for workers out of a job for more than six months.

The WashingtonPost reported today that Sununu’s vote was the decisive blow that blocked passage of the bipartisan bill containing LIHEAP and unemployment insurance funding, which required 60 votes.

“John Sununu’s support of a weakened stimulus package is too little, too late,” DSCC spokesman Matthew Miller said.“Thousands of people throughout New Hampshire are struggling with the cost of heating their homes and paying the bills after losing a job. Instead of helping his constituents though, John Sununu once again voted the Republican party line in Washington.When John Sununu tries to take credit for passing an economic stimulus bill, Granite Staters will know the real story – that he cast the deciding vote against the unemployed and families with high heating bills.”

Sununu Only Supports Bill that Ignores Unemployed, LIHEAP. The John Sununu-backed stimulus bill does not include additional unemployment insurance benefits or help low-income Americans afford the rising costs of heating their homes. Yesterday, Sununu voted against a bill that would have provided both to New Hampshire, as well as extend important tax incentives to break dependence on foreign oil and create jobs in the growing clean energy sector. [Vote 10, 2/7/08; Vote 8, 2/6/08]